Harrison County Schools Launch Safe School Helpline for Confidential Reporting of Issues Students Face

By Trina Runner on May 14, 2018 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

Drinking. Drugs. Suicide. Violence. Crime. These are all common issues students and families are facing around the country.  Many times, students or community members overhear something that could help with these issues, but don’t know how to report the information. Harrison County Schools has now launched a resource that can help keep the communication open and provide an anonymous outlet for student safety and peace of mind.
The Harrison County Schools Safe School Helpline allows for three methods of communications to report an allegation, concern or suggestion in a confidential manner.
“Some students and parents are reluctant to provide information to a school because they don’t want their identities known,” said Harrison County Technology Coordinator Todd Poole.  “We have always encouraged open, direct communication with the community and this helpline will be an additional resource.”
Through the Safe School Helpline, students, parents and community members can report incidents through text, phone call, or app.  The caller’s identity is protected and no name is required.  The message is then provided to the school officials and callers can request to speak with a live mental health counselor or simply report the concern on www.safeschoolhelpline.com.
“Each call will be given a case number and callers can check the status of the school’s progress on the case or provide additional information.  Reports can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week and if the situation is considered life-threatening, school officials will be notified immediately and proper authorities will be contacted,” said Poole.
Brochures and letters detailing the program were distributed this week in all Harrison County schools and posters are displayed in all schools to increase awareness of the resource.  To text the incident, students and parents can enter 66746 and then type TIPS. A Safe School Helpline app is available for both Apple and Android phones and the school will never receive the caller’s email or phone number as the reports are sent through a third-party service.
“By providing different reporting options and confidentiality, we hope to open the lines of communication for concerns that affect our students,” said Poole.

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